Another Excellent Conference on Iroquois Research

The October 2018 Conference on Iroquois Research was held last weekend at Ganondagan, near Victor N.Y.  Ganondagan is the site of a Seneca town that was attacked by the French in 1687.  The Seneca community fled, burning their buildings down before the French reached them.  They rebuilt nearby.  The site is now home to a bark longhouse and a beautiful museum, as well as interpretive trails, all curated to present Seneca history and culture in a way that is dynamic, respectful, and transformative.  Visiting Ganondagan is inspirational in and of itself.

The conference was a chance to see old friends and make new ones and to hear presentations about a wide variety of topics in Iroquois studies, from the distant past through the present.  When you are working on topics in which most people have only a limited interest, it is energizing to connect with others whose eyes light up instead of glazing over when you  start to ramble on.

I had a chance to share what I have been doing with this website and get encouragement, feedback, and new ideas. You can access my slides as a powerpoint presentation here: Hunter_CommIndAff-2018 or as a PDF here:Hunter_CommIndAff-2018.

I also recommend the new issue of the C.I.R. journal, hopefully available soon at Iroquoia. And while we’re at it, the C.I.R. Facebook page has developed into a significant source for connecting with colleagues and learning about recent developments.

The Seneca people call themselves Onöndowa’ga., meaning “people of the big hill.” I am embarrassed to say that only after this last visit to Ganondagan have I faced up to that word and gotten it more or less into my ears and mind.  In the process of learning it I have also discovered how to enter special characters in WordPress.  Once again I realize how much I still have to learn.



Conference on Iroquois Research 2017 Presentation

The Conference on Iroquois Research met last week in Oswego, New York. It included many excellent presentations. I gave a talk based on the AIC records for 1723-1725 entitled “The Sappony Prisoner: Servant, Captive, Runaway, or Chief?” It concerns a Sappony captive taken from Virginia to Kahnawake in 1723 and his subsequent fate.
Here is a pdf copy: Captivity_Paper .

The C.I.R. is evolving in very interesting ways. Check out the web page to learn about their work, including their journal, which just published a third issue. They also have a Facebook Page where you can see pictures of the conference and learn more about the presentations.

This is a map of Oswego in 1727, and a marker and plaque from the site of the fort built that year.



This is what it looks like now:



I kept thinking about the Iroquois of 1723, as well as the French and Anglo-Dutch traders. They used to navigate these waters in canoes like the ones now on display in the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, following the river up to Onondaga and Oneida. What would they make of the present  day city?

The view from my window at the Oswego Best Western Plus, where the conference took place.
Small (wooden?)  boat outside the H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego. My guess is that there were some boats a bit like this one around after the 1727 fort was constructed and certainly later in the century as French and British sailing ships began to ply Lake Ontario.
Dugout and birchbark canoes on exhibit at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum on the pier at Oswego. Most traffic in 1723 was by canoe.